Editor's note: The following contains graphic and disturbing language.
The victim of an attempted murder said he dove out of a moving vehicle to escape being shot to death during testimony Wednesday as the trial began for Joshua Chaisson, a 38-year-old Houma man facing charges of attempted second-degree murder, armed robbery and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
"I pleaded with him that I had to be there for my kids," said Leory Allen, the victim. "He said, 'f*** your kids, you going to die today.'"
The charges stem from a shooting that occurred in Raceland near Buford and St. Louis streets about 8:21 p.m. Aug. 3, 2020.
Allen testified Wednesday that he was visiting a friend on Greenville Street the night of the shooting. When Allen stopped his car at the friend's home, he said Chaisson approached him, pointed a gun at his head, and demanded his items.
He then ordered Allen to get back in the car and drive them both away from the home. As they drove, Allen said he pleaded with Chaisson. That was when Chaisson told him he would die, put the gun to Allen's head and pulled the trigger.
"That was when the gun went click," Allen said.
Chaisson then tried to fix the gun, and Allen said he jumped out of the moving vehicle and ran for his life. Shortly thereafter, he said he heard gunfire and bullets ricocheting off the ground around him.
Detective Elizabeth Leon investigated for the Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office. She testified that her investigation determined Chaisson fired 10 rounds. Leon now works in evidence for the Sheriff's Office.
Defense attorney Wilbert Billiot objected frequently to the use of recordings of Chaisson's phone calls while in jail. Each time, he and Lafourche Parish District Attorney Shaun George were brought to Judge Steven Miller's bench to discuss the objections.
In the Lafourche Parish Correctional Facility, inmates have to enter their inmate number and PIN and recite "United States of America" three times for voice recognition to make a phone call. The calls are then recorded and stored in a database, Lt. Brett Exnicious said.
Two phone calls were made between Chaisson and Allen while Allen also was detained. In one of the phone calls, the voice identified as Chaisson told Allen it was a case of mistaken identity.
"That was for a n**** named Big Bradley," said the voice Allen identified as Chaisson. "You just pulled up at the wrong time."
Five other calls made to Chaisson's sister using his identification number also were entered into evidence by George. Once entered, the jury was allowed to listen to them. They were played from a television screen in the court room.
"If the victim don't show up to court, they can't do nothing to me," said the male voice in the recording, whom detective Leon identified as Chaisson.
The voice identified as Chaisson and the woman discussed what their stories would be, and those of their friends.
The sister was concerned about Chaisson being seen at the shooting.
"You had a mask on that night?," she asked on the recording.
The male voice said no, but if everyone stuck to their story he said he'd be fine.
Closing arguments are set to begin at 8 a.m. Thursday in Thibodaux.
This article originally appeared on The Courier: Victim testifies that he dove from moving car to avoid being shot